Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Breast cancer: women in couples would experience fewer sexual problems than other women

Breast cancer affects more than 50,000 women each year, aged in 90% of cases over 40 years. If he is cured relatively easily after an early diagnosis, a recurrence may occur in the next 5 years. It is for this reason that adjuvant endocrine therapy is often prescribed at this time. For those who have had a particularly aggressive cancer, the treatment can even last up to 10 years or more after the remission. Nevertheless, their side effects are numerous in menopausal women ( vaginal dryness , low libido or even  painful sexual intercourse ...).

A treatment with many adverse effects

These disorders often lead to sexual dissatisfaction and significantly impact the quality of life. A recent study on the influence of the couple after breast cancer published in the review Menopause  nonetheless demonstrates that women in couples have fewer problems in this area than those without a partner. 
According to the researchers, postmenopausal women with no stable partner would have greater sexual problems than women in couples when taking adjuvant endocrine therapy. The latter were "the most vulnerable to quality of life issues and also felt that they were affected by unresolved sexual problems," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, Executive Director of NAMS. This only confirms a theory already known: being accompanied and supported can better recover from cancer.

Not enough prevention on these issues

There are many women involved in these kinds of problems, but "health care providers do not warn or advise them enough," says the doctor. Patients should therefore be better informed about the risks associated with adjuvant endocrine therapy.

Exercising in a gentle and prolonged manner is also strongly recommended during or after breast cancer to combat the side effects of treatment. Many studies highlight the importance of physical exercise in tertiary prevention, based on the  report" Benefits of physical activity during and after cancer " , published in 2017, the Institute advocates the integration of physical practice in the basket of supportive oncology care, "says the INCa, calling health professionals to combat the sedentary lifestyle of the patient as soon as he is diagnosed.

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